Do You Know the Difference in Your Bubble of Control vs Room of Influence?

Robert Trajkovski
3 min readJan 8, 2021

…how about your universe of Concern?

Recently I saw a post by Josh Miller in which he shared a picture of a bullseye with the center being the things we control. Next circle was the things we influence. And last circle was the things of concern.

Let’s break this apart…

What are things that we can control? The reason I called it a bubble is I want you to visualize yourself in a bubble about 3 feet out in all directions.

Why?

If you were in a fight, it is unlikely that you will get hit or kicked within that bubble. Your opponent can yell, scream, flail their arms, and legs BUT you are in control of your bubble and they can not penetrate.

That is a physical explanation of having control of your space.

But our worlds are more complex and we have control of other things within it. No matter what comes at us, we can control our attitude towards it. We can control the effort towards our goals and themes. If we don’t like where we work, we can fire our boss and move on to another job.

How we interact with people and the boundaries of acceptable behaviors are within our control. Who we hate, dislike, like and love are ours to control.

Where we put our financial investments in our control. We can chose the instruments based on our beliefs of what the company stands for or where we will simply get the best returns.

Our health is mostly in our control. We can chose to exercise. Sleep is within our control. What we eat is mostly in our control. Quality of the food we eat is mostly in our control unless you live in a food desert location (place with no real grocery store).

We have full control of what goals we pursue. Even the unreasonable ones.

Reactions to external attacks and events are mostly in our control.

What about influence?

We can improve our teams. We can improve the companies we work for. Our social circles, can benefit from our influence.

Even though we control how well we treat the environment we have negligible influence on the poor choices that others make.

We can dedicate time to influence our community through good deeds. Same with politics, we can influence the ideas that are important to the parties we support BUT we have no control of all of the issues that the party supports.

We can control choices we make but can only influence the choices provided by others.

What about concerns?

There are too many things we can worry about that they are not worth listing. But ask yourself, “Will you change, influence or control the economy of the country, next pandemic, war, news presented, weather, or politics?”

These are too many things (UNIVERSE) not worth spending your time concerning about. That is why I showed them as gray and fuzzy. They will play out until you can influence (THE ROOM) and control the options (YOUR BUBBLE) in your world.

In the end it is important to be wise in order to identify the things you control, influence and worry about. I would recommend you spend 80% of your time on things you can control, 19% on things you influence, and 1% on things that you might be concerned about.

My nineteen cents….(this is what I earned from Medium.com for Dec. 2020)

I got to go…my future self alarm went off

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Robert Trajkovski

I have led people and projects in Steel/ Power, Refining, Chemicals, Industrial Gasses, Software, Consulting and Academia. I have instructed 73+ courses.